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Student Journalists Headline Healthy NewsWorks 2022 Film and Book Fest

Healthy NewsWorks hosted their 2022 Film and Book Fest at the Merion Tribute House in Merion Station, PA. Since 2006, the Healthy NewsWorks program has improved literacy and health knowledge by transforming K-8 students in the Philadelphia area into journalists who work in teams to research, write, and produce articles and digital materials about health issues that matter to them and their communities.

The Quest Diagnostics Foundation has provided a grant, as part of the Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) initiative, to help build the program’s capacity so it can deepen its impact in its existing partner schools and expand to more schools and communities in the Philadelphia area and beyond. The grant supports additional opportunities for young reporters to publish articles, illustrations, and videos that address the health issues important to them and their communities. Q4HE, an over $100-million initiative of Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) and the Quest Diagnostics Foundation, provides donated testing services, education programs, partnerships, and funding to support initiatives aimed at eliminating healthcare disparities that impact underserved communities across the US.

Several Quest employees participated in Healthy NewsWorks’ annual event showcasing its student reporters engaged in writing about health, nutrition, fitness, and safety issues that affect schools and local communities.

Reaching more than 30 elementary and middle schools in southeastern Pennsylvania, the Healthy NewsWorks event was an opportunity for the students to show their reporting work focused on “How We Heal: Moving Ahead In Challenging Times.” The student reporting included a book, featuring an interview with Ruth Clements, Vice President and General Manager of Infectious Disease & Immunology & Leader of Q4HE, Quest Diagnostics, and a 22-minute student created-video, featuring a foreword with Mandell Jackson, GM/VP of Q4HE, the film premiere was shown outside the Merion Tribute House.

“Our interview with Ruth Clements was the most important one for me because she told us about COVID, about the vaccine, and about how people spread COVID-19,” said fourth grader Andre Brown, who reports in the Healthy Eagle student paper. “This is important because it keeps information in your brain and that helps you keep safe from coronavirus.”

“I’m approaching 27 years with Quest this summer and have always been proud of the work we do which was never more apparent than during the pandemic,” said Ilene Rothblat, Program Manager, Quest Management System. “There is a Yiddish word ‘kvell’ which is used to describe being delighted to the point of tears. Q4HE makes me kvell! When we talk about our value proposition and distinguishing ourselves from other companies, this program does that in my mind. I have the ultimate respect for the leadership of our organization making the investment in Q4HE and look forward to the role we will play in making a difference in bridging the gap in health equity!”

The event concluded with a talkback session hosted by NBC10 News anchor Tracy Davidson with Rodney Whittenberg, “How We Heal” director and owner of Melodyvision, and several of the students.

Click here to learn more about the 2022 book and film.

Here’s what the Healthy NewsWorks student journalists said about the program:

“First, I learned about emotions and feelings when we are in a certain situation. And if we are feeling a negative emotion, we can use coping skills like taking a walk, using fidget, talking to someone, and taking a power nap. Second, I took place in some interviews and I talked about mindfulness and emotions. Also, we talked about how teachers what teachers would do if they are getting frustrated with their students or with themselves.” – 4th Grader

“I learned that some of the smallest things can change your life. Maybe it's something that helped you heal mentally or physically." – 5th grader

“[W]hat i have learned this year is that we should take some time to relax yourself because a lot of things are going on in our life. Also, I have learned that taking time to understand nature and looking all over our beautiful world.” – 5th grader

“…Being a news reporter has been good, made me improve just a little on my writing and paraphrasing. ... I hope the new students that get to do this like it. Maybe it gives them an idea of what they want to do in the future…” – 7th grader

"Things I've learned are setting boundaries, and not leaving much room for misunderstandings. Be upfront. Control the situations that you can control, and don't leave the bad possibilities up to chance. Sometimes all you need to heal is time. Some problems need more than one person--two heads are better than one." – 8th grader

“Healing is important because if you’re not healed, you aren't happy. Something I also learned this year was that in order to heal, you need to accept what has happened. Focus on the future, and don't stress yourself too much.” – 7th grader